Supreme Court rejects Trump administration request to reinstate medication abortion restriction - CBS News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  2 weeks ago  •  54 comments

By:   Kate Smith (CBSNews)

Supreme Court rejects Trump administration request to reinstate medication abortion restriction - CBS News
The unsigned order is the high court's first decision following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fierce supporter of abortion rights.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



By Kate Smith

October 8, 2020 / 8:13 PM / CBS News

Roe v. Wade at risk after Ginsburg's death?06:20

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening rejected the Trump administration's request to reinstate a rule requiring patients to obtain the first pill required to induce a medication abortion at an in-person appointment with their doctor. The unsigned order, which temporarily keeps in place the ruling of lower courts, is the high court's first decision following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fierce supporter of abortion rights.

Siding with abortion-rights groups, the Supreme Court declined to lift a nationwide court order that, due to the pandemic, temporarily suspends the Food and Drug Administration's long-standing requirement that mifepristone (also sold as Mifeprex), the first pill of two used to induce a medication abortion, be dispensed by a doctor in-person. In its five-page order, the high court pushed the case down to the district court and said it will wait for a "more comprehensive record."

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who are historically against abortion rights, dissented. Justice Alito questioned the lower court judge's logic that the FDA's rule posed a risk to COVID-19 exposure if other activities in the state, which have since reopened, did not.

"The judge apparently was not troubled by the fact that those responsible for public health in Maryland thought it safe for women (and men) to leave the house and engage in numerous activities that present at least as much risk as visiting a clinic—such as indoor restaurant dining, visiting hair salons and barber shops, all sorts of retail establishments, gyms and other indoor exercise facilities, nail salons, youth sports events, and, of course, the State's casinos," Alito wrote.

The case, Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), considers the FDA's long-standing rule. At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, ACOG, a professional medical organization that represents 90% of physicians in the field, requested that the FDA lift that requirement, arguing that not only was the in-person requirement medically unnecessary, but in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it placed patients and medical staff at risk of exposure to the virus.

When the FDA refused, ACOG sued. In July, a federal judge agreed, granting the group a preliminary injunction that temporarily suspended the FDA's in-person rule. In his decision, Judge Theodore D. Chuan wrote that the regulation, in the context of a pandemic, presented a "serious burden to many abortion patients."

The Trump administration appealed, and in August an appellate court unanimously declined the administration's request to reverse the lower court's decision. Two weeks later, the Trump administration went to the Supreme Court, asking for it to block the lower courts' orders.

The rule will remain suspended at least until the district court reviews the government's request to instate the regulation, which the Supreme Court asked it do within 40 days.

"It is a relief that, for the next few weeks at least, the Trump administration cannot force patients who need an early abortion to needlessly risk contracting a life-threatening disease as a condition of obtaining care," said Julia Kaye, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and lead counsel challenging the FDA's regulation, in a statement emailed to CBS News on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Use of the medication has steadily increased since it was first approved by the FDA in 2000, and it now accounts for nearly 39% of all abortions in the United States, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. When used within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, medication abortion works as directed 99.6% of the time, has a 0.4% rate of major complications and an associated mortality rate of less than 0.001%, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Multiple medical professional groups have voiced their support for ACOG's request to suspend the in-person pill delivery requirement. In an amicus brief filed to the Supreme Court, attorneys representing 18 such groups, including the American Medical Association, wrote "medication abortion is a safe and effective treatment" and that "the government's job is not to turn back the clock on medical practice, let alone in a global pandemic."

Senator Ted Cruz and 19 other Republican senators last month called the lower courts' decisions in the case "rogue activism" and applauded the FDA's "zealous fight" to maintain the regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to the FDA, the conservative lawmakers also called for the agency to remove the abortion pill from the U.S. market entirely, writing that "pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness." The comment riled women's rights groups, who noted that the United States' maternal mortality rate is among the highest of developed countries.


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JBB
1  seeder  JBB    2 weeks ago

Things are surely not going the way Trump wants...

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     2 weeks ago

6-2 decision with Thomas and Alito dissenting. 

 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Kavika @2    2 weeks ago

... or maybe 4-4, with two conservatives remaining silent... 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2  Gordy327  replied to  Kavika @2    2 weeks ago
6-2 decision with Thomas and Alito dissenting. 

Not surprising. Still, a good decision by the court. Medication induced abortions is probably the safest, quickest, and easiest way to have an abortion.  I can't imagine why anyone would be opposed to such an effective method in favor of something that would make it less effective.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2    2 weeks ago

C'mon, Gordy! 

We know - have known fait a long time - that no one really cares about abortion. The battle is over women's rights. Basically, the conservatives want a patriarchy, in which women are just baby-making machines.

A simple, effective way of ending an unwanted pregnancy is a patriarch's worst nightmare. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.1    2 weeks ago

But isn't that the credo of the cult that Trumps SCOTUS choice belongs to?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

I'd like to know more. What I've read comes from people who have left the group. They may not be objective. 

The haste with which the group scrubbed all trace of Barrett is very worrisome. If they have nothing to hide... why hide anything? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
The battle is over women's rights. Basically, the conservatives want a patriarchy, in which women are just baby-making machines.

That's what it probably boils down to.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.4    2 weeks ago

They are authoritarians. Reducing women to second-class citizens kinda takes half the population off the table. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.6  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.5    2 weeks ago
Reducing women to second-class citizens

That's essentially what restrictions and prohibitions against abortion will do. Once rights and autonomy are taken away, then one is relegated to second class citizen status.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.6    2 weeks ago

We must be lucid about "personhood begins at conception". If the zygote-embryo-fetus is a person, then a miscarriage is a "suspect death". If the mother has been less than perfectly careful, she must be charged with negligent homicide.

No woman who is sexually active (and therefore may be pregnant) may go horseback riding. No skiing. No work with the slightest risk. It might mean never leaving home. 

Defying these rules would be breaking the law. With jail time. 

This is not just Handmaid's Tale fantasy. There are countries where it is reality.

There are tens of millions of Americans who want it to be reality in America. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

I wouldn't trust any cult.  There was a good movie about a guy who got caught up in a cult, called "Ticket to Heaven", that I watched many years ago. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.5    2 weeks ago

Not all authoritarian governments treat women as second class citizens.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.10  Bob Nelson  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.9    2 weeks ago
Not all authoritarian governments treat women as second class citizens.

You're right. Women were much more equal under Saddam than after. Of course... it was an "equal lack of any rights at all"... but it was indeed equal...

 
 
 
MUVA
2.2.11  MUVA  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.10    2 weeks ago

Yea when Saddam and his sons took women and turned them into sex slaves they were inpowered.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.12  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.7    2 weeks ago

Indeed. In certain countries, women have been imprisoned for having a miscarriage. But antiabortionists do not seem to make the distinction between personhood and "life." That might be 1 reason why their arguments fail all the time. But then, "life" was never really the issue either.

 
 
 
MUVA
2.2.13  MUVA  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.12    2 weeks ago

How do you feel when they charge her with child abuse because she use drugs during a pregnancy?Was she just poisoning a clump cells?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.2.14  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.10    2 weeks ago

I wasn't thinking of Iraq.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.15  Gordy327  replied to  MUVA @2.2.13    2 weeks ago

It's a BS charge, as there is no child yet. It's just a knee jerk emotional reaction. But most women probably abstain from harmful habits when they realize they're pregnant. 

 
 
 
MUVA
2.2.16  MUVA  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.14    2 weeks ago

Definitely not after my post.

 
 
 
MUVA
2.2.17  MUVA  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.15    2 weeks ago

So after the baby is born with crack or crystal meth addiction no charges because until that moment it was a clump of cells but now is a baby with a drug addiction.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.18  Gordy327  replied to  MUVA @2.2.17    2 weeks ago

That's right.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.19  Bob Nelson  replied to  MUVA @2.2.11    2 weeks ago
sex slaves

Seriously??

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.20  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.12    2 weeks ago

"Life" is meaningless in any legal examination of the issue. Personhood is central.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.21  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.20    2 weeks ago

I tend to agree. Whenever someone invokes "life," they clearly have no valid argument and are just making an appeal to emotion. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.21    2 weeks ago

"Life" is continuous, for the last several billion years.

The sperm and the egg are alive.

There is no "new life".

There is a new... "individual".

IMNAAHO, a human individual begins to grow at conception, and continues dynamically for about twenty years. Then the individual's development plateaus for forty years; then things go downhill until the end.

This is a constantly evolving process.

There is no "magic moment" when the individual becomes a "person".

We humans have a powerful innate reflex to protect our young. It's a perfectly logical survival trait. Our brains kinda melt when we see a newborn baby.

But let's be clear: that "ohhhh!" event is happening in the adult, not in the baby.

The baby is still a lump of meat. It will acquire self-consciousness only a few weeks later, among the dozens of milestones that it will pass. Birth is just another milestone among those dozens... for the baby. Learning to breath must be a big deal!

For the adults around the baby, with their "protect the young" reflex... everything has changed!

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.23  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.22    2 weeks ago

A single cell at conception is not an "individual." It's an individual cell but no different than other cells in the body. Part of the abortion argument has been when to consider the fetus  a person or actual individual. Legally, that occurs at birth. Protecting the young is irrelevant to the abortion argument and is little more than an emotional appeal or a self rationalization for sanctimony.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
2.2.24  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.23    2 weeks ago
Part of the abortion argument has been when to consider the fetus  a person or actual individual.

The way I've always looked at it, if the fetus is unable to grow and live outside the mother's womb [technically making that fetus a parasite], it is not an "individual" or have "individual" capabilities yet. One of my friends was born at 26-27 weeks; she survived, therefore was an individual according to my definition. Some may not agree with that definition, and that's fine. I personally wouldn't get an abortion, but I also wouldn't tell someone else what to / not to do in regard to that topic.

I've gotten some seriously dirty looks from people when I've commented that a fetus is simply a parasite. 

Parasite definition: an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.25  Gordy327  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.2.24    2 weeks ago

Technically, if one is born, then one is an individual. Your friend barely made it past the point of viability. But is still an individual due to birth. You also bring up a good point: you wouldn't CHOOSE to have an abortion. As long as you have that choice, thats what matters. Just as a woman should be able to CHOOSE to have an abortion. There are those who want to take away the right to choose. And you are correct, a fetus is technically a parasite. I've gotten similar glares or angry responses for making that observation too. But some people get too emotional over the issue to look at it rationally or deal with facts.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.23    2 weeks ago

Let's beware of semantics. 

I use "individual" for "entity with unique genes". A snail is an individual. 

A "person" is not defined by biology, as much as by psychology. Some day we may have to recognize AIs as persons.

The law recognizes that personhood is acquired gradually, beginning before birth and continuing to 35 years old (eligibility for President). Each milestone is set, fixed, within a period that is logically much wider. (Drinking among the most "senior"milestones? Seriously ?)

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
2.2.27  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.25    2 weeks ago
As long as you have that choice, thats what matters.

Exactly. I understand why my mother had her two abortions in her 65 years on this planet; one was because she was 15, drugged and raped and the other was after I was born, was on birth control [and still got pregnant... in the 80s, not quite as effective as today]... she and I almost both died during the first trimester because her body reacted as though I was something bad to attack; moreover, she had to have surgery to remove a large cyst on her ovary that was threatening to crush me and if it had burst... it could've killed her too. There's reasons for it and none of those reasons are my business. Just like when I found out I was pregnant with my son, it wasn't the best time to get pregnant [just filed for divorce from the first husband], but no one was going to tell me what I should / should not do. I was / am a grown-ass woman that had consensual relations with a grown-ass man... whom now I've been married to for almost 12 years. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.28  Bob Nelson  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.2.24    2 weeks ago

I understand your definition, but its application is necessarily arbitrary. A newborn is hardly "viable" by any but the narrowest definition. It must receive constant care. A small child can take care of itself for a few hours. If there's food in the fridge.

How "viable" is a three-year-old? 

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
2.2.29  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.28    2 weeks ago

I suppose it depends on the three year old. While I couldn't legally work and make money, I fed myself for breakfast and lunch that young.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.30  Bob Nelson  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.2.29    2 weeks ago

That's pretty remarkable... even if you counted on someone else to keep the fridge stocked. What would you have done if the fridge was empty? 

Never mind. I hope you understand what I'm saying. One can set the age of "viability" at anything between a few months after conception to five years, depending on how you define "viable". Most of that is after birth.

In the end, we are faced with the fact that there is no "magic moment". Development into a person is many-years-long process

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.31  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.26    2 weeks ago
I use "individual" for "entity with unique genes".

I use it in its more common usage (unless otherwise indicated), as meaning an individual human person.

The law recognizes that personhood is acquired gradually,

Not quite. We are persons at birth, with certain rights and privileges. But those are typically expanded upon at age related milestones.

One can set the age of "viability" at anything between a few months after conception to five years, depending on how you define "viable".

In the context of abortion, viability is determined to be the point where a fetus can survive outside the womb (albeit with significant medical intervention).

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.32  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.31    2 weeks ago
I use it in its more common usage (unless otherwise indicated), as meaning an individual human person.

No problem. Just needs to be clear. 

We are persons at birth, with certain rights and privileges. But those are typically expanded upon at age related milestones.

Semantics, I think. A newborn has the right to own property, for example. That has nothing to do with the infant, and everything to do with the adults around it. A newborn has no rights to do anything, but that's OK because it is incapable of doing anything. As you said, rights will accrue as the child grows.

In the context of abortion, viability is determined... 

Why? That definition is is entirely artificial. It varies according to the mechanical prowess of the maternity ward, rather than any aspect of the new individual. Someday, all of gestation may be in vitro... and then what is "viable"?? The anti-abortion people want to drive down the "age of personhood", to as close to conception as possible, so they appreciate the "viability" argument. They are sure to get ever-closer to conception, as technology improves. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.33  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.32    2 weeks ago
Why? That definition is is entirely artificial.

The definition is medical. 

It varies according to the mechanical prowess of the maternity ward, rather than any aspect of the new individual.

Viability is around 23 weeks gestation. Medical science has only improved survivability chances, but has not significantly altered viability itself.

Someday, all of gestation may be in vitro... and then what is "viable"??

Whether it's in vitro or not does not change the actual gestation itself.

The anti-abortion people want to drive down the "age of personhood", to as close to conception as possible, so they appreciate the "viability" argument.

No, some do not appreciate or accept the viability argument. Otherwise, they would be ok with abortions before viability. But many are not and want to limit the time frame for abortions, if not outright prohibit it.

They are sure to get ever-closer to conception, as technology improves. 

See second statement.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.34  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.33    2 weeks ago

Whatever... 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.35  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.34    2 weeks ago

Your dismissiveness doesn't help your argument. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.36  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.35    2 weeks ago

I'm not being dismissive. I'm recognizing a blockage. No point in insisting.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.37  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.36    2 weeks ago

What blockage? I'm simply addressing your points and providing factual corrections or clarifications. If you disagree, then provide a rebuttal. Bit a simple "whatever" certainly comes across as dismissive and is not conducive  to a discussion. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.38  Bob Nelson  replied to  Gordy327 @2.2.37    2 weeks ago
not conducive  to a discussion

It didn't seem to me that we were having a discussion. So I figured that there was no point in insisting.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.39  Gordy327  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2.38    2 weeks ago

I thought we were. After all, we were replying to  and addressing each other's posts. So I'm not sure what you perceive as a "blockage."

 
 
 
Texan1211
3  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Good decision.

I figured it would go the other way since I have been told so many times that the Court is going to restrict if not outright ban abortions.

The dissenters did have a good point about the activities that are allowed without much thought to health risks compared to visiting a doctor's office.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
3.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @3    2 weeks ago
I figured it would go the other way since I have been told so many times that the Court is going to restrict if not outright ban abortions.

Would it help if they renamed it from "medical abortion" to "Bitter Waters", so it is supported in the Bible?

 
 
 
Split Personality
4  Split Personality    2 weeks ago

They say that Chile has the strictest abortion laws on the planet and they often prosecuted doctors in the past.

Now however Misoprostol is usually available in most drug stores without a prescription.

It is 90% effective in triggering a period in the first trimester.  Women have almost complete control.

It is one of the ingredients in the RU-486 which is considered more effective at 97% but must be administered by  doctors in

America where 3 visits are required to verify the pregnancy and give options, take the pill,

and two weeks later verify the success or failure

and take "any additional steps necessary".

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1  Gordy327  replied to  Split Personality @4    2 weeks ago
Women have almost complete control.

Apparently, some people do not like that idea.

and take "any additional steps necessary".

Sounds like too many steps already.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

Could the decision have been a political one, to assure the public that adding Trump's choice to the court would not make such a big difference?  Then what about the Affordable Care Act?

 
 
 
Snuffy
5.1  Snuffy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    2 weeks ago
Could the decision have been a political one, to assure the public that adding Trump's choice to the court would not make such a big difference?

I don't think so. Contrary to MSM fear mongering, Trump does not have that much sway over the Justices.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Snuffy @5.1    2 weeks ago

If that is true, then I really don't think the SCOTUS is such a big issure.

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.1    2 weeks ago
If that is true, then I really don't think the SCOTUS is such a big issure.

Ask a Democrat, they can tell you how big of a deal it is.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.2    2 weeks ago

Thanks for the suggestion, but since I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and in fact not even an American, I can think for myself somewhat more objectively.

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.3    2 weeks ago
Thanks for the suggestion,

You're welcome.

but since I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and in fact not even an American, I can think for myself somewhat more objectively.

Glad to hear that you can think for yourself.

You may pretend it isn't an issue, but here in the States, it IS one.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.4    2 weeks ago

Obviously you didn't understand my comment.  It was actually in favour of YOUR view of the matter.  I don't pretend. 

 
 
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